Relationships

Misaligned Priorities

IMG_9295

Sometimes what I think is of the highest priority, isn’t, and what I put aside is really what I should focus on.

I walked downstairs and saw my mom talking on the phone. She was empathetically offering words of comfort to a friend in need.

I noticed the dinner dishes still on the table and immediately judged her for misaligning priorities. How could she just leave the dishes? How can she drop everything to answer a phone call?

God immediately spoke to my heart. She was doing His will. She was behaving like Mary.

Luke 10:39-4(WEB) reads “She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His Word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to Him, and said, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.’

Jesus answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.'”

SarahsBlogLuke10-41

Though Jesus was specifically speaking about spending time with Him, Scripture teaches us to prioritize people above things. In the fast-paced world that we live in, this message is even more pertinent because society teaches us to be like Martha. It teaches us to focus our energies on the wrong things – worldly things.

While my mother tends to put others first, I tend to prioritize my “to do” list. Had I been in her shoes when her friend called, I’m afraid I would not have answered. Even if I had a friend in need, I would most likely clear the table and finish the dishes before returning his or her phone call.

Why do we think our agendas are more important? How can we shift our priorities?

Growing closer in Christ through reading Scripture is a good first step. We can also ask God to reveal situations in which we can grow in this area. Times that we may choose Mary’s path and can witness true servanthood through others like my mom did. Opportunities to allow others to embrace and model Mary-like hearts. How can we prioritize seeking Christ’s guidance in what is truly most important?

If you enjoyed today’s post, would like more inspirational content sent directly to your inbox, and want to stay up-to-date regarding what’s new with us, make sure to sign up for our free quarterly e-mailing. You can do that HERE.

And make sure to connect with us on Instagram and Facebook!

fear, Heart Issues

How Jesus Helps Us in Our Fear

quote from Sarah pulled from the post.

Did I hear God right? Leave our family and move half way across the country on our own? With a nine month old?

Leave the only hometown we’d ever known?

Where were we going to live? How were we going to make new friends? I was scared of the unknown. I was nervous and unsure. I wanted to stay where I was—comfortable, where everything felt familiar.

About 5 1/2 years ago, my husband and I were shopping in Hampton Virginia when my old boss phoned me. He’d recently moved to Omaha, Nebraska to be the Vice President of Marketing of a senior health organization. We’d kept in touch, so the call wasn’t out of the ordinary, but the reason for his call was. His company wanted me to spearhead their marketing for an expansion project.

My first thought was, Omaha, Nebraska? What do they do there? Farm? Grow corn?

At that time, my parents and my husband’s parents lived a mile from us. They were our safety net. Always there and available to help. The thought of moving and leaving where we’d grown up, a house we’d recently purchased, our parents, our friends, our church, and our life group felt overwhelming. Yet after much prayer, we felt certain we were being called to the Midwest. Even though we knew we were following Christ’s leading, we still feared the unknown.

I was afraid the job wouldn’t work out. I was afraid we wouldn’t make new friends. I was afraid my husband wouldn’t find a job. I was afraid it was a huge mistake.

What do you fear the most? Do you trust God’s provision?

Even Jesus’ disciples, struggled with fear and trusting the Lord. In Matthew 14:30-31, Peter and the disciples saw Jesus walking on water. Peter questioned if the man they saw truly was the Son of God, and said “‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’

“He said, ‘Come.’

Peter got out of the boat and walked towards Jesus. “But when he saw verse image Matthew 14:29b-30the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’

Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”

Peter let fear paralyze him when he was walking on water. But Jesus comforted him with an outstretched hand.

When we step out in faith, despite our fear, God does the same for us.

I didn’t know why Christ was leading us to Omaha. I just knew in my heart we were supposed to be there. Fast forward a little over three years, and we learned why. In early 2016, I had a stroke while sitting in the waiting room at Children’s Hospital with my daughter. The medical community in Omaha is fantastic. Within fifteen minutes of our home, we have several nationally recognized teaching hospitals with every specialty imaginable.

These options were not close to where we previously lived in Virginia. I would’ve most likely had to drive to Baltimore or North Carolina to receive the medical treatment so readily available in Omaha.

If I hadn’t taken that phone call in Marshalls, and if I hadn’t listened to God’s calling to relocate to Nebraska, I may not be alive today. My fear of moving could’ve cost me my life.

When has God called you to the unknown? Were you fearful? Unsure? How did you push the uncertainty away? Let’s talk about this!

If you enjoyed today’s post, would like more inspirational content sent directly to your inbox, and want to stay up-to-date regarding what’s new with us, make sure to sign up for our free quarterly e-mailing. You can do that HERE.

Heart issues

Has Technology Become an Idol?

I hate being interrupted, especially from something I deem important. “Mom look at this!” My daughter says from across the room. I glance up from my phone and mumble “just a minute”. I return to reading a blog about being intentional through Christ. I only have a few sentences left. “Mom!” she repeats.

I’m reading a Christian blog so that should be my priority) right? Shouldn’t God always be my priority? Or should I watch my daughter try to do the splits for the 15th time today?

Technology has become an obsession for many. It can be uncomfortable for some to go to the bathroom without a cell phone because the thought of sitting for a mere 90 seconds without scrolling through Instagram or checking text messages could seem like such a waste. I can relate.

How do I ignore feelings of guilt because of spending time on my phone or computer when my daughter is around? I justify it by reading Christian blogs or surfing Faith-filled memes. I realize I’m attempting to justify my behavior. The content may be healthy, but the fact that I know I am making excuses is a problem. I’m twisting faith for my convenience. I’m making it mean whatever works for me.

Christ spoke to my heart recently and revealed that He is not my priority in those moments – technology is. Exodus 20 verse 3 says that “you shall have no other god before me”. No other gods like blog posts, inspirational messages, or technology. What gods are you putting before Christ? Do you have any that you deem acceptable when in fact they need a second look? Ask God to make your priorities clear. Don’t let things like technology stand in the way of a relationship with Christ as you learn to live Wholly Loved.

Visit us on Facebook or Instagram to continue the conversation as we encourage each other to prioritize Christ, our families, and the things God has called us to.

If you enjoyed today’s post, would like more inspirational content sent directly to your inbox, and want to stay up-to-date regarding what’s new with us, make sure to sign up for our free quarterly e-mailing. You can do that HERE. 

Prayer

The Importance of Prayer

When you feel a nudge towards prayer, do you listen? Or are you too distracted? Too inconvenienced? Too busy?

A few months ago, my daughter and I were driving down the highway when the traffic quickly slowed down from its usual 55 miles per hour pace to almost a complete stop. Sirens rang louder as it became apparent that there had been an accident. Immediately my daughter said, “mom, let’s pray for them.” And we did.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV) tells us to “Pray continually”.  Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? It would be, if we try praying hands with words to 1 Thes. 5:17to take it literally. In this passage, God is telling us to have a prayerful attitude at all times. To obey him fully. To pray frequent, short, spontaneous prayers when called to do so.

Do you seek opportunities for prayer? Do you listen when they are presented? I humbly admit there are times when a specific person or situation is placed on my heart, and I ignore the feeling because I’m too busy. I rationalize that whatever I’m doing at that moment is not only “more important” but also what God would rather have me doing. I tell myself it’s more productive than prayer.

How can I be more like my daughter and listen for God’s calling to pray for others?

I’m embarrassed to admit prayer was not my first thought as the traffic slowed. I was frustrated it would take longer to get to my destination. I was focused on myself.  On my own inconvenience.

My daughter listened to God’s calling and immediately wanted to pray. She didn’t hesitate.

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) says “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” His words “be alert” speak to me. My daughter listened to God’s calling and immediately wanted to pray. She didn’t hesitate.

Let’s talk about this! When you feel the nudge to pray, what do you do? Do you ignore it? Do you question its existence, or attribute it to something worldly and discredit its divine origin?

When you feel the nudge to pray, what should you do? Listen. Be still. Embrace the divine moment. Share it with God. Be thankful for the opportunity to pray for a certain person or situation.

I haven’t heard a siren the same since that day, and I won’t let one pass by without a prayer. We should never be too busy for a prayer. A few words, like, “Lord, please be with those people. Amen,” is easy.

Photo of Sarah Conaway speaking
Experiencing Christ, Video Devotion

When God Feels Distant — Video Devotion

VLOG #3 Due Are you there God_12-20-17 from Wholly Loved Ministry on Vimeo.

Do you ever feel like God’s checked out for the day or taken a much-needed vacation? Do you earnestly desire His presence and relentlessly search for it and feel nothing? What do you do in those situations?

Almost two years ago, I had a stroke that left me with dulled sensation in the right half of my body. Some parts are completely numb. My nerves react to my inability to feel by misfiring. My body knows something is wrong and tries to fix it. It’s trying to feel. It won’t give up trying to regain sensation. Because of this, I take a nerve blocking medication to stop the prickly and tingling sensation that are more than I can handle.

And just like my body, sometimes I can’t feel God. Sometimes I can feel Him a little. Sometimes I can feel Him a lot. I want to feel Him a lot, all the time. But how? How do I go from feeling nothing some days to being engulfed in His divine presence everyday?

In Hebrews 13:5 God says, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”

In other words, God is always with us and will never leave us. Even if we can’t feel Him, He is there. He doesn’t leave. He doesn’t take a vacation. So if you want to feel His steadfast presence, ask Him to reveal Himself to you in ways you’ll see and understand. To show you ways that you can feel Him even when you are “numb”, and be diligent in daily attempts to connect with Him through prayer and scripture as you learn to live Wholly Loved.